Home                                        Etosha National Park

A. Introduction

Please note: this page is a work in progress and will be updated regulary.

The Etosha National Park is a 22 750km² wildlife sanctuary. Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, gets it's name from a large, flat calcrete pan of about 110 km x 45 km. The pan itself contains water only after very good rains and sometimes for only a few days each year.

General links for Etosha:

. Namibia Wildlife Resorts (official web site)
. Etosha National Park (private web site)
. Etosha National Park (private web site)
. Etosha National Park (Wikipedia)

B. Road advisory

. The access roads from outside the park to Okaukeujo via Outjo and Namutoni via Tsumeb are good tarred roads.
. The access road from the North via King Mohale Gate to Namutoni is a gravel road and is normally in a good condition.
. The Southern access road from Outjo to Okaukeujo is "littered" with warthog grazing next to the road - be extremely careful as hitting one of them could be fatal.
. I have no information on the access road to the Dolomite Camp.
. Roads inside the park are all gravel. They are normally in a good condition in the dry season.

C. When to visit

Best to visit during the cooler months (April to August). During summer months it gets very hot. During the hotter months, there are more action such as mating and animals giving birth, but during the rainy season, some roads may be inaccessible and animals scarce as there is a lot of open water in the veld. Try and avoid visiting during the South African school holidays as it becomes very crowded.

D. Access Permit  Access permit rates

Access to the park is via one of four manned gates. The Western gate is only for visitors staying at the Dolomite Camp. The gates have specific opening and closing times determined by sunrise / sunset. The entrance fee (called access permit) is payable at the first rest camp after the gate. See the $ sign for rates.

Use the arrows on the map to zoom and navigate


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E. A few places in Etosha which never disappoint

1. Okaukeujo Waterhole

Sitting next to the waterhole from before sunrise to well after sunset is very rewarding. On a single day you may see elephants, rhino, lions, giraffes, zebras, blue wildebeest, kudu, springbok and many other species without driving 1 km! Take a cushion with as the benches are very hard and uneven... The sun sets on the opposite side of the waterhole and allows for spectacular animals into the sunset shots, often with thick, orange or yellow dust.

Okaukeujo waterhole

2. Watchtower in Okaukeujo

The view from the tower, which apparently is a remnant of an old German fort, is well worth the climb. Animals can be seen approaching the waterhole from far

Okaukeujo Camp
3. Nebrownii waterhole

This waterhole is situated 9 km from Okaukeujo on the C38 to Namutoni and is in the middle of a large open plain. It is frequented by large numbers of animals.

Nebrownii waterhole
4. Halali Waterhole

Sitting next to the waterhole late afternoon to well after sunset is very rewarding. You have a very good chance of seeing elephants, lions and both black and white rhinos. The sun sets on the opposite side of the waterhole. The viewpoint is elevated above the waterhole and allows for spectacular reflections and sunsets.

Halali waterhole
5. Viewpoint on the Etosha Pan

The viewpoint is on the pan itself. The turn-off to the viewpoint is 73 km from Okaukeujo on the C38 to Namutoni or 61 km from Namutoni on the C38 to Okaukeujo or 22 km from Halali on the C38 to Namutoni. The viewpoint is a further 4 km. The last 2 km road is on the pan surface and may be impassible during the wet season.

Dry Etosha Wet Etosha
6. Fort Namutoni

The fort was built in 1906 as headquarters for the German Shutztruppe during the Owambo uprisings. Today it houses shops and a restaurant for the Namutoni rest camp. The Namutoni waterhole is visible from the wall.

Namutoni

F. Photography tips

1. General wildlife photography tips for Etosha

Have a look at the following articles:
a. "Photography tips" by Grobler du Preez
b. "10 Tips for Improving Your Wildlife Photography" by Morkel Erasmus
c. "Five Wildlife photo tips youv'e never seen before" by David Lloyd
d. "Wildlife photograhy articles" by Uwe Skrzypczak
e. "Wildlife photography: Chris Martin’s top tips"

Halali waterhole
2. Timing

The most beautiful photos are usually created during the "golden hour" (the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset).
Unfortunately, the park gate times as well as the rest camp gate times will force you to be on the road during the golden hour. To compensate for this, you could do the following:

a. Although it might be cheaper to stay at accomodation outside of the park, rather stay overnight at one of rest camps with a waterhole (Okaukeujo, Halali or Namutoni) where you could photograph the animals during the golden hour

b. Be at one of the waterholes nearest to the exit gates or camp where you stay and leave just in time to catch the gates open.

Okaukeujo
3. Night time photos

It is possible to get good wildlife photos at the floodlight lit waterholes. The photo to the right was taken without a flash with the camera on a tripod. I used the camera timer on 2 seconds to further reduce camera shake. The settings were as follow:
Shutter speed: 1 second, ISO: 1600, aperture: f8, focal length: 230mm
Many of the photos taken this way will show blur due to subject movement, so take many photos.

4. Getting sharp photos

Use a tripod at all times to ensure sharp photos, even if you use a cheap point and shoot camera. You will see the difference. When you shoot from a vehicle, switch it off and use a bean bag to stabilize the camera. If possible, use a remote trigger or use the camera timer to further reduce camera shake. Even a cell phone camera could take much better photos if you use some sort of support to stabilise it. For stationary animals, there is no need to use a high ISO if you use a tripod. Where there is action, set your camera to auto ISO to ensure a high enough shutter speed to freeze the action.

Halali waterhole
5. Equipment

Telephoto lenses work best: 70-200mm, 200-400mm, 18-200mm, 28-300mm, etc. During my last visit I used a 50-500mm. Remember to take a macro lens for insects and small subjects.

6. Ideas for stunning photos

. Etosha is not only about animals - be on the lookout for stunning landscapes
. Animals walking off into the sun at Okaukeujo (see photos at tips 1&2)
. Animal reflections at the Moringa waterhole at Halali
. Birds on dead trees
. Animals on the white Etosha pan
. "White" elephants (covered in white mud)
. Fighting animals (including birds in flight)
. Don't forget the birds and insects
. Animals standing deep in the water to drink
. Animals in funny positions
. Animal interaction

7. For more inspiration please see the Etosha high quality photo gallery (link on the main menu bar)

Etosha Pan

G. Accommodation in the Etosha National Park

1. General information

Please see the following information on accomodation in Etosha:
Accommodation rates
Bookings

2. Best places to stay

Please see "Photography tips -> Timing" a little higher up on this page for guidelines on where to stay if you are a photographer.

Okaukeujo Camp

3. Okaukeujo Rest Camp     Official camp fact sheet>

CampingCamping sites

All sites are on gravel (not all have decent shade), tap with drinkable (but brackish) water within easy reach, power point (240v), communal toilets and hot showers

Laundry and dish wash area nearby. This photo shows camp site nr. 10. The entrance to the waterhole is in the back, left to the vehicle in the photo.













Chalets and double rooms

Premier Waterhole Chalet: double story chalet with a balcony overlooking the waterhole. Two bedrooms, Lounge area, fridge aand tea station

Family Chalet: self catering unit with two bedroomss, kitchenette and braai (barbeque) area

Waterhole Chalet: situated close to the waterhole. Comfortable double rooms with en suite bathroom, fridge & tea station

Bush Chalet: 2 bed chalet with one bedroom, bathroom, lounge area & braai. Equiped with fridge & tea station

Double Room: room with en suite bathroom, fridge & tea station

All luxury chalets have air¬conditioning









Map of Okaukeujo: Use the arrows on the map to zoom and navigate the map

The waterhole is visible at the left of the map. It is floodlight lit at night and the sun sets on the opposite side of the waterhole. It is within walking distance from all camping sites and chalets / double rooms.

Shop Shop with basic food and curios

Restaurant  Restaurant and bar

Fuel  Fuel station with tyre repair facilities. Accept South African garage cards and major credit cards

Post Office  Post Office

atm  No ATM. Nearest bank / ATM is in Outjo, Tsumeb or Ondangwa

credit cards   Major credit cards accepted, but make arrangement with own bank before departure to Namibia (especially ABSA bank South Africa - I could not withdraw money or use my credit card)

first aid  Nearest doctor / hospital is in Outjo, Tsumeb or Ondangwa

Swimming pool  Swimming pool

Okaukeujo Camp
Okaukeujo Chalets

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4. Halali      Official camp fact sheet


CampingAll sites on gravel (most have decent shade), tap with drinkable (but brackish) water within easy reach, power point (240v), communal toilets and hot showers. Laundry and dish wash area nearby.

Favorite with overlander trucks, often more people than the amenities can handle, insufficient hot water for peak times.

Chalets and double rooms Chalets and double rooms, none with a view of the waterhole. All accomodation have air-conditioning.

2 x Family Chalets - two separate bedrooms. separate lounge, equiped kitchen, bathroom. Built in braai.

10 x Two Bedroom Bush Chalets – bathhroom and a separate toilet. Lounge/kitchen.

40 x Double Roooms – en suite bathroom.

5 x Premier Bush Chalets – queen sized bed, a private garden area, jacuzzi, fridge and tea/coffee station.

10 x One Bedroom Bush Chalets – separate bathroom with a shower aad toilet.





Map of Halali: Use the arrows on the map to zoom and navigate the map

The Moringa waterhole is visible at the bottom of the map. It is floodlight lit at night and the sun sets on the opposite side of the waterhole. It is within (a long) walking distance from the camping sites and chalets / double rooms.





Shop Shop with basic food and curios

Restaurant  Restaurant and bar

Fuel  Fuel station with tyre repair facilities. Accept South African garage cards and major credit cards

Post Office  No Post Office

atm  No ATM. Nearest bank / ATM is in Outjo, Tsumeb or Ondangwa

credit cards   Major credit cards accepted, but make arrangement with own bank before departure to Namibia (especially ABSA bank South Africa - I could not withdraw money or use my credit card)

first aid  Nearest doctor / hospital is in Outjo, Tsumeb or Ondangwa

Swimming pool  Swimming pool

Halali Camp
View Larger Map
3. Namutoni      Official camp fact sheet:

CampingMost sites are on grass (many have decent shade), tap with drinkable (but brackish) water within easy reach, power point (240v), communal toilets and hot showers. Laundry and dish wash area nearby.

Chalets and double rooms Chalets and double rooms, none with a view of the waterhole. All accomodation have air¬conditioning.

Double Rooms with a fridge & tea station.

Bush chalets: double shower and basin bathroom. Outside shower is reachable via the bathroom. Equipped with a fridge & tea station.











Map of Namutoni: Use the arrows on the map to zoom and navigate the map

The waterhole is visible to the left of the map. It is floodlight lit at night and the sun sets on the opposite side of the waterhole. It is within walking distance from the camping sites and chalets / double rooms. It is also visible from the wall of the Namutoni fort.


Shop Shops with basic food and curios inside the fort

Restaurant  Restaurant and bar inside the fort

Fuel  Fuel station with tyre repair facilities. Accept South African garage cards and major credit cards

Post Office  No Post Office

atm  No ATM. Nearest bank / ATM is in Outjo, Tsumeb or Ondangwa

credit cards   Major credit cards accepted, but make arrangement with own bank before departure to Namibia (especially ABSA bank South Africa - I could not withdraw money or use my credit card)

first aid  Nearest doctor / hospital is in Outjo, Tsumeb or Ondangwa

Swimming pool  Swimming pool

Namutoni

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4. Dolomite Camp      Official camp fact sheet:

I have not yet been to this camp - all information on this camp is researched information

Chalets The Camp features 20 Chalets each with a private tea and coffee station. The chalets are built on elevated wooden decks on and around the outer edges of a dolomite ridge. There is no waterhole visible from the camp.

17 Bush Chalets

3 Deluxe Chalets with own plunge pool

CampingNo camping allowed


Map of Dolomite Camp: Use the arrows on the map to zoom and navigate the map



Shop No shop

Restaurant  Restaurant

Fuel  No fuel station, nearest fuel at Kamanjab 100 km away

Post Office  No Post Office

atm  No ATM. Nearest bank / ATM is in Kamanjab

credit cards   Major credit cards accepted, but make arrangement with own bank before departure to Namibia (especially ABSA bank South Africa - I could not withdraw money or use my credit card)

first aid  Nearest doctor / hospital is in Kamanjab

Swimming pool   Swimming pool


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H. Other accommodation in the vicinity but outside Etosha

Many lodges and camp sites are available, but please keep in mind the recommendations under "Photography tips -> Timing" a little higher up on this page for guidelines on where to stay if you are a photographer.

A few private accomodation facilities

1. Eldorado B&B & Camping    More information and tarrifs

This is a private camp 14 km from Anderson Gate. We camped there the night before entering Etosha and the night after leaving Etosha. We sat at the Okakeujo waterhole until half an hour before the gates closed, drove to the waterhole near to the Andersson's Gate and went through the gate just before closing time and on to Eldorado.
CampingCamp sites under trees on grass. 240v electricity. All sites are on grass with decent shade, tap with drinkable water within easy reach, power point (240v), braai (barbeque) facilities, communal toilets and hot showers (fuelled by a donkey). Laundry and dish wash area nearby. 1 free bag of wood per site

Double rooms Seven double rooms each with two single beds with en-suite bathroom. Fireplace, Self-catering, Air-Conditioning, Tea and Coffee Facilities, Bar Fridge, Braai/Barbecue


Shop No shop

Restaurant  No restaurant

Fuel  No fuel station, nearest fuel at Outjo

Post Office  No Post Office

atm  No ATM. Nearest bank / ATM is in Outjo

credit cards   No credit card facilty

first aid  Nearest doctor / hospital is in Outjo

Swimming pool   No swimming pool





Eldorado Camp

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